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Thursday, 3 October 1974
Page: 1642

Senator GREENWOOD -My question is directed to the Attorney-General. Is it a fact, as alleged in the media, that the National President of the Communist Party of Australia, Mr Jack Mundey, has applied for legal aid to finance an appeal from the judgment of the Supreme Court of New South Wales given against him in his defamation action against Sir Robert Askin? If so, on what grounds has he applied? Has the application been decided? If so, what are the reasons for the decision?

Senator MURPHY -I understand that Mr Mundey has applied for legal aid. I do not know on what grounds he has made that application. His solicitor spoke to me about the matter and, as I understand it, a letter has been written to my Department inquiring about legal aid. Application forms were sent but no formal application has been made to the Australian Government or to the Australian Legal Aid Offices. But he is making an application for legal aid to the New South Wales Government through its appropriate instrumentality. I am not sure whether it is the Public Solicitor. That is the position at the moment. No application has been received by the Australian Government or its Legal Aid Offices. I really do not know the grounds upon which the application has been made. That was the position, as I understood it, a few days ago, and I have not heard anything further since then.

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